SAYiT and the Noah Lomax Fund, and Heather Paterson have been shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards


SAYiT and the Noah Lomax Fund has been shortlisted for the Community Organisation – Age Category at the National Diversity Awards 2020.

SAYiT CEO Heather Paterson from SAYiT Sheffield has been shortlisted for the Positive Role Model – LGBT Category at the National Diversity Awards 2020.

A record breaking 64,000 people nominated this year alone and the results are finally in for the National Diversity Awards (NDA), with an astonishing 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide.

Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 26th February to witness the countries 2020 winners being crowned the best of British diversity.

Amongst those being honoured are charities, campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways.

Claire McGettigan is Noah’s Mum and helped to set up SAYiT’s Noah Lomax Fund, shortlisted for the Community Organisation – Age Category, she said;


‘My son Noah was beautiful, clever, hilarious, quirky, kind and loving.
 
He was also autistic and this led to many mental health struggles and to sadly losing him to suicide two years ago, aged just 15.
 
Noah was gay and a proud member of the LGBT+ community. He wanted to be an LGBT+ activist.
 
We set up Noah’s fund for LGBT+ teen mental health a few weeks after his death and it has turned into a much bigger fund than we could have ever envisaged. It pays for vital counselling and a hardship fund for SAYiT young people.
 
LGBT+ teens have a higher than average risk of suicide. A study by Stonewall showed damning statistics for suicide, self-harm and depression in this group.  There is also a higher level of people with autism in the LGBT+ community and individuals with autism are also in a high risk group for suicide. This makes our LGBT+ teens very vulnerable.
 
Let’s not forget that not all live in accepting and inclusive households, the current lockdown situation is
making this hard to bear.
 
Noah’s fund is still there to protect and support LGBT+ young people, giving online counselling, internet access and phones to those in need.
 
Noah would be so proud.
 
I’ll end with Noah’s favourite quote:
‘The beauty of standing up for your rights is that others see you standing and stand up as well’

Heather Paterson shortlisted for the Positive Role Model – LGBT Category said;


“I have had the pleasure with of working with several LGBT+ groups in Sheffield and South Yorkshire over the past 20+ years. I am passionate about LGBT+ rights and equality issues in general and will always stand up and support vulnerable and marginalised communities however and whenever I can. Currently I write the LGBT+ Column for Exposed Magazine and have recently been appointed as CEO at SAYiT.

I have been involved in the Sheffield Against Hate group campaigning against hate speech in our city. Over the years I have had the pleasure of chairing the LGBT+ Hub of Sheffield’s Equality Hub Network, representing LGBT+ students at Sheffield Hallam University as Hallam Unions LGB officer, working with the LGB Youth Initiative and was one of the cofounders of Sheffield Pride. I also DJ and perform as my drag alter-ego ‘Anna Kissed’ and use this role to support community events and fundraisers.”

Nielsen, Direct Line Group & The Open University have recently been announced as sponsors of the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over 800 grass root groups and diversity champions since its inception. ITV News are also listed amongst a host of companies showcasing their support to recognising diverse talent, providing a platform to our unsung heroes. 

Rachel Corp, Acting Editor, ITV News said: “We are pleased that ITV News will once again be supporting the National Diversity Awards. ITV News remains committed to telling the stories of those, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference; enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society. We look forward to introducing the 2020 nominees to our viewers across the regions and nation.”

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s continue to gain endorsements from high profile figures such as Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton. Activist Katie Piper, Presenters Alex Brooker & Ade Adepitan MBE and Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist. 
Actress and comedian Sally Phillips will take centre stage on 26th February as the official host of this year’s ceremony. Sally said, “This year has presented historic challenges for everyone but with them we have also seen extraordinary and heroic achievements of people fighting to keep some of our most vulnerable communities supported.  We need a spotlight on our communities, need, human rights and care for those on the outside like never before. We need to meet, exchange ideas and resources and pool skills more urgently than ever. I am ever-grateful for the NDA network and couldn’t be prouder to be returning to their tremendous awards as host for a second time. See you there?”

Previous winners include actor Warwick Davis, men’s mental health charity Andys Man Club and reformed breast cancer survivor Codilia Gapare. 

Paul Sesay, Founder and CEO of the National Diversity Awards added, “During difficult and challenging times, it is now more important than ever to recognise our countries true role models. The nation has embraced the diversity of our country and exceeded every other year by submitting a record breaking 64,000 nominations and votes. Let me reiterate that creating this shortlist was no easy task. The profound impact made by all our nominees is astonishing, and I feel personally encouraged to know that so many lives are being changed for the better due to the many causes being championed by all of you. 

After weeks of deliberating and thousands of heartfelt testimonials later, I am delighted to finally present to you the best of British Diversity. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees, it is an honour to recognise your fearlessness, resilience and humanitarian efforts with the rest of the world. Let’s continue the fight for justice, unity and equality for all”. 

To view a full list of nominees please visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/shortlist 

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